"America", "US", and "USA" redirect here. For the landmass comprising North and South America, see the Americas. For other uses, see America (disambiguation), US (disambiguation), USA (disambiguation) and United States (disambiguation). The United States of America (USA), commonly referred to as the United States (U.S.) or America, is a federal republic composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major territories and various possessions.[fn 1][fn 2] The 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C., are in central North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is in the northwestern part of North America and the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. At 3.8 million square miles (9.842 million km2) and with over 320 million people, the country is the world's third or fourth-largest by total area[fn 3] and the third most populous. It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many countries. The geography and climate of the United States are also extremely diverse, and the country is home to a wide variety of wildlife.Paleo-Indians migrated from Eurasia to what is now the U.S. mainland at least 15,000 years ago, with European colonization beginning in the 16th century. The United States emerged from 13 British colonies along the East Coast. Disputes between Great Britain and the colonies led to the American Revolution. On July 4, 1776, as the colonies were fighting Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War, delegates from the 13 colonies unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence. The war ended in 1783 with recognition of the independence of the United States by the Kingdom of Great Britain, and was the first successful war of independence against a European colonial empire. The country's constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787, and ratified by the states in 1788. The first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and designed to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties.